+ Awesome multiplayer action
+ Excellent competitive support
+ Local Australian servers
+ Free to play
+ Lots of customisability with purchasable stuff
- Steep learning curve - big time investment before the fun really starts
- Long average game time means no quick games
- Bad community reputation, though noticeably improving.
Less of a sequel and more of an enhanced edition, Dota 2 is still very much a work in progress as all of the original Heroes have yet to be ported over to Valve’s Source engine edition of the game. Even so, one of the original creators, “Icefrog,” is on board with Valve and has continually worked to improve the game in order to create one of the best in the genre — one that has even become its own sport.
Dota 2 (Linux, Mac, PC[reviewed])
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Rig: AMD 7850 Dual-Core 2.80 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 560 Ti, and Windows 7 64-bit.
Dota 2 is what most people would call a “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena,” or MOBA for short, but some may call it a DotA-like or an “action RTS (ARTS)” or who knows what else. The bottom line is you control one Hero unit in a team of five against another team of five Heroes on a single map. The goal is to destroy the enemy team’s “Ancient,” a towering structure at the center of their base. In order to do so, players need to work as a team, level up, destroy a series of towers that defend the enemy “lanes,” and push their way into the enemy base.
The only way to move is to right click around the map, similar to how RTS games like StarCraftcontrol. Anyone who has played an ARPG like Diablo or an RTS will feel right at home when navigating a unit in Dota 2.
Each Hero has a set of abilities, usually four in total, and can increase their effectiveness by gaining experience and leveling up. Experience can be gained by killing a multitude of things around the map: little AI enemy units called Creeps, bigger neutral AI units in various spots, or enemy Heroes. Each ability, with the exception of the fourth, can be leveled up four times in any order the player so chooses.
The fourth ability is considered the Hero’s Ultimate ability. Sometimes this ability is what defines the Hero, other times it’s simply a nice skill to add to an arsenal. Hell, occasionally leveling up the Ultimate ability is avoided for most of the match. The order in which the player levels up the Hero’s abilities is called a “build,” and while most players tend to stick to a certain order, there’s no real penalty for pulling a Fleetwood Mac and going your own way.
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